Debra Prinzing

SLOW FLOWERS: Weeks 8 and 9

March 3rd, 2013

Been busy here . . . in the midst of Flower & Garden Show season, so I missed last week’s bouquet. Let’s play catch up and here, I’ll feature Week 8 and Week 9:

 “JUST ADD LIME”

Oh how I love this combination of everyday garden blooms, including daffodils, forsythia and euphorbia - with a few sprigs of variegated geranium for contrast.

Oh how I love this combination of everyday garden blooms, including daffodils, forsythia and euphorbia – with a few sprigs of variegated geranium for contrast.

The spring green color of new growth is indescribably beautiful.

The spring green color of new growth is indescribably beautiful.

Ingredients:
All ingredients were harvested from my Seattle garden:
  • 5 stems donkey tail spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites)
  • 3 stems Euphorbia characias
  • 5 stems variegated rose mint scented geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens Group ‘Variegata’)
  • 7 stems forsythia branches (Forsythia x intermedia)
  • 7 stems daffodils (Narcissus sp.), unknown cultivars
Vase:
5¾-inch tall x 5-inch diameter glazed ceramic vase
From the Farmer
Working with euphorbia: Most plants in the spurge family produce a milky-white substance when cut. It can be irritating to the skin, so be sure to wear gloves when handling the plant. While harvesting, I place the stems in a bucket of water, separating them from any other cut ingredients. Then I bring them into my kitchen where I dunk the tip of each euphorbia stem into a bowl filled with boiling water from the teakettle. This seals the stems.  Some experts recommend searing the tips in a stove top flame, but that has proven too messy for my liking.

“HEADY HYACINTH”

A simple length of linen twine gathers these garden hyacinths. They practically arrange themselves!

A simple length of linen twine gathers these garden hyacinths. They practically arrange themselves!

Ingredients:

8 stems hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis), grown by Alm Hill Gardens

Vase:
7-inch tall x 7-inch square glass cube
Detail of the gathered bouquet

Detail of the gathered bouquet

Seasonal Choices

About those long stems: The typical garden hyacinth blooms on a relatively short stem – maybe 4-5 inches at the most. This limits the way hyacinths can be used in floral arrangements. According to Gretchen Hoyt, the way to stretch those stems is to trick them into wanting more light. “The longer you can deny them light, the more they stretch,” she explains. At the commercial flower farm, this process begins in dark coolers where bulbs are pre-chilled. When they are transferred to the greenhouse, the hyacinth crates are placed (in the shadows) beneath tables where tulips grow. If Gretchen wants to elongate those stems even further, “I’ll throw newspaper over them,” she says. Leaving bulbs on the stems is optional, but some designers do so to give the arrangement a rustic appearance.

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